Get to know the subsequent era of must-know names which might be altering the sport within the sequence Introducing, the place Sports activities Illustrated and Empower Onyx are celebrating the Black ladies and women who’re rising leaders and rising stars within the sports activities world.
Title: Odicci Alexander
Occupation: Professional softball participant
Hometown: Palmer Springs, Va.
Responsible pleasure: Studying James Patterson novels
Odicci Alexander grew up in Palmer Springs, Va., a rural city with a inhabitants of lower than 3,000. She didn’t have a lot went it got here to sources, however the self-taught pitcher had greater than sufficient when it got here to creativity, in addition to the love and help of her grandparents who raised and inspired her to play softball. Beneath, Alexander shares what life is like off the mound and the way the game helps her use her voice to encourage others to seek out theirs.
Empower Onyx: How small is small in relation to your hometown, Palmer Springs, Va.?
Odicci Alexander: Palmer Springs, Va.: no stoplights, no traces on the street, 25–half-hour from a grocery retailer. A very small city, however that is one thing that made our group tight as a result of wherever you go in Palmer Springs all people is aware of you. We’re only one huge household.
EO: In Palmer Springs, you didn’t have a little bit league staff to follow with. What was that like for you rising up?
OA: Rising up, taking part in a sport in a small city, you simply needed to make one of the best of what you had. I needed to get inventive with a bat and a ball. My grandpa had this stick and I’d throw rocks from our gravel driveway and simply hit it. I began on our brick home, however grandma wasn’t having that. She may all the time scream at me and inform me, Get off the home! I needed to go to the water effectively, the place we received our water from. I’d use that to only pitch. So, being inventive and utilizing what you had.
EO: What was it about softball that you?
OA: Softball is simply one thing that simply clicked. I liked it. I had a ardour for it, so I simply saved going. My grandfather impressed me to play softball. He truthfully impressed me to be one of the best me.
EO: How so?
OA: You could be one of the best athlete, however being a very good individual makes you a fair higher athlete. Folks overlook that a part of sports activities. On the finish of the day, in any sport you play, it would not outline who you’re as an individual. I attempt to instill that in these youthful women: Be true to you, be who you’re, be one of the best individual.
EO: Inform us what the adjustment was like for you coming from Palmer Springs to James Madison College?
OA: Rising up, I used to be type of shy. I actually did not like to speak to new individuals. I did not like to satisfy new individuals. I used to be all the time up below grandma and grandpa. They’ll let you know that I used to be not probably the most vocal individual. Once I went to school, there have been plenty of issues that I needed to regulate to. I needed to meet new individuals. I used to be on a staff the place women have been from totally different backgrounds. That they had totally different personalities. I believe my greatest factor was attending to know my teammates, opening up and being myself. To be on a staff, it’s important to bond. All of us had the identical widespread aim, however to get to that aim, we needed to get to know one another.
EO: What’s it like for the shy lady from Palmer Springs to now be a celeb athlete?
OA: I do not suppose that is actually like hit me but. I used to be all the time simply taught to proceed to be one of the best me, be who God created me to be. I now have a voice and I’ve impacted and impressed so many women that appear like me or who do not appear like me, or who play the identical sport as me. Whereas I am on this enormous platform my motivation is to proceed to develop the sport in a optimistic manner.
EO: What’s it like if you go to Palmer Springs because the hometown shero?
OA: Once I go residence and go to the grocery retailer or someplace, somebody all the time desires an image or autograph or one thing like that. I like doing it and I’m blessed to be on this place. I like to present again to my group. It warms my coronary heart and simply to see individuals come as much as me and ask for an autograph or an image. That simply lets me know—you have impressed this individual, you have impacted this individual in a manner the place they’re wanting as much as you.
EO: What recommendation would you give to a different small-town lady who’s in search of an outlet?
OA: The message I’ve to them is to make your journey true to you. Everybody’s journey is totally different. I get so many individuals who say, I wish to be such as you. No, I need you to be like you, I need you to be one of the best you, not me. I am me. My slogan is, “Make your journey true to you.” Did I believe I used to be going to play softball? No, I by no means thought that. Simply discover, strive new issues, strive various things and see what suits you.